Instagram Photo Books

I’ll be honest with you:

I’m NOT the best blogger in the world. I try. Really, I do. I want so much to keep track of my family’s memorable moments, but at the end of the day, when my baby’s in bed, I’d way rather snuggle with my husband than fire up my laptop.

That’s why I’m so in love with Instagram. It only takes a second to snap a picture, and once it’s posted, it’s there forever. This convenience probably leads me to over-Instagram, if that’s even possible. Every day, though, I pick my favorite shot of my son and hashtag it “#dailyinstagramrjp.” Jones will be one in October, and all I have to do is click his hashtag to see a chronological list of nearly 365 days of his development, each picture speaking a thousand words more than any half-hearted blogpost ever could.


When Jones – and, with him, my “#dailyinstagram”-ing journey – was almost four months old, I got one of those “FREE 8X8 COUPON” codes that Shutterfly is so good to send out. I hate wasting these codes; I always dream up a reason to build a book when they come in (and usually end up ordering extra copies). This particular day, it occurred to me that I could use Jones’s Daily Instagrams to create a series of three 8X8 photo books, each one filled with four months’ worth of pictures. Taken together, they’d be a tangible way to watch our boy get bigger, an easy means to chart his first year’s growth.


I was right. It was very easy, thanks to Shutterfly’s many photo book templates. Though I selected “Custom Path” photo placement, so that I could tweak the templates somewhat, I found that the Project Life Childhood: Bridgeport Edition theme was full of pages that called for square-shaped photos. I “insta”ntly knew that this was what I needed to make my project perfect!


Book templates aren’t all that Shutterfly offers to make memory-sharing more convenient, by the way. With its smart-phone app, all I have to do is upload the photos directly from my phone to my Shutterfly account. This has become part of my daily routine: I choose the picture, hashtag it, and then upload the image, so it’s already online when I’m ready to create.


Two of the three books have now been printed, and the third is about 2/3s of the way done. For consistency’s sake, I’ve kept each page exactly the same in each edition, changing only the pictures but never the design. Not surprisingly, Jones’s grandparents have started buying copies of their own, and we’re expecting his baby brother in mid-January. I’m already surveying Shutterfly templates, so I can create a series just for him.


Hey, it beats the socks off of blogging!

Kristin’s blog Keeping Up With the Jonesie

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